What’s a “disability”? And what’s “normal”? This spring’s biggest exhibition, entitled Disabled by Normality and created in cooperation with the Jedlička Institute and Schools on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, attempts to reveal and problematize the terms normality and disability in the manner in which our notions of them affect the lives of all of us – they either limit us, or on the contrary give us an advantage.
The term “disabled” carries with it a certain already established, codified and institutionalized notion of what is “normal”. This notion leads us to differentiation based on otherness, resulting in the creation of minorities and their eventual discrimination or social exclusion. It is thus evident that the terms disabled and normal affect the achievement of the main principles of modern democratic society – equality, freedom and brotherhood. Like these, the terms disabled and normal do not exist outside of history, but rather are the result of historical and culturally shared processes.
The exhibition will present artworks by domestic and international authors created using various media and techniques, including interactive projects and new technologies that represent not only important assistance for various types of disabilities, but also break down established notions of physical and intellectual normality. Visitors encounter examples of work by disabled artists as well as by artists working within communities of people with disabilities and within the context of “crip culture”, or works during whose creation the artists themselves take on various restrictions, and thus purposely problematize our view of a “normal” and “functional” body.
The exhibition is accompanied by a number of seminars, debates and interactive workshops through which the project tries to involve the general public in discussions on the subject of “disability”.